New CSK or ole CSK, that's the question!

Source :SIFY
Last Updated: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017, 23:18:49hrs
New CSK or ole CSK, that's the question!
So IPL 2018 will see the return of MS Dhoni as the captain of the Chennai Super Kings and the grand reunion of his team-mates Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin and Sir Ravindra Jadeja.

That seems just about right, doesn't it? MSD and his boys are all floating around after the end of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions. The CSK old timers should coalesce and bring back the glory days.

CSK is a super successful team and will be red-hot favourites for 2018 IPL. But wait a minute? Why should all other teams want that to happen?

Why shouldn't a bidding war ensue over MSD and he would arguably become the most expensive IPL player ever? He sure is worth it!

This line of thinking came to the fore when the IPL governing council met to discuss the player retention policy.

One proposal was that CSK and Rajasthan Royals (the other team that is returning after an exit) retain five players. Then the ole CSK would be back.

Some said 3 and some 1, in which case only Dhoni would be a certainty for CSK. But what if they decide to allow zero retentions? Then Dhoni could be in any team with a brand new CSK.

This is a possibility because RR wants to start with a clean slate and so CSK stands isolated. Teams like Kolkata Knight Riders are opposing CSK's dreams.

KKR owner and Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan even said months ago that he was willing to sell his pyjamas to buy Dhoni! SRK also gave an impassioned speech about IPL and money in the meet.

In fact, there is even a proposal to allow the exchange of players between teams at the middle of IPL 2018! Howzatt for total fluidity versus retention!

Also see: IPL 2017

If most franchisees go in for a fresh slate theory then you could have a mega auction and the suspense would rival the auction of IPL 1.

Thanks to this core issue, all other issues have been pushed to the background. News did come of a couple of franchisees wanting the auctions to be in England though that was opposed by all others.

Interestingly, Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya is a wanted man cooling his heels in London. This is the only way he would have been able to attend the auction!

It has been a high-profile exchange this time because this is only the second time that the governing council saw almost all the owners present as they chart out the policy for the next five years.

There was also a proposal to hike the salary purse from Rs 66 crores to Rs 85 crores.

There's another proposal to bring down a team's squad strength down from 27 to 22. If both these proposals are accepted then the per head player fee would shoot up from Rs 2.44 crores to Rs 3.86 crores!

There is some bad news for women's cricket though. If you thought we might finally have a women's IPL after their great showing in the World Cup, you are mistaken. The idea was summarily shot down.

Coming back to IPL 2018, so while there's still a good chance that Dhoni and CSK will be re-united, he'll have to hold his whistle podu till the next governing council meeting!

The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here